The 20 offense as we call it is a ball screen continuity offense that allows players to make plays using ball screens at the wing and get shots in the KILL ZONE. Anytime the guard gets into the kill zone, we want them to take a shot in this high percentage area.
The 20 offense allows for easy ball reversal, good post play going to the basket and gets the ball to the free throw line area which puts the defense at a great disadvantage. The defense must make some adjustments to stop the effectiveness of the ball screens and allows the players to make some plays reading the screens.
We used this for our USA Basketball Developmental National Team and found the teams we played had some difficulty with how to guard the ball screens and allowed us to take advantage of mistakes for easy baskets.
We’re going to break down the offense into 4 phases:
1. Wing entry pass
The offense starts with a pass to the wing 1 – 2. Obviously, the wing may be overplayed which allows for backdoor cuts for a direct pass from 1 or a pass to the high post 5 for a backdoor pass to 2. Emphasize the ball needs to be caught free throw line extended. If the ball is received higher on the court this does not allow for good angles on the ball screen. The point guard 1 will cut to the opposite corner after he makes a pass to 2 at the wing. He does not use 5 as a screener – we have some specials we use for this action. 3 will get “high and wide” as we emphasize this for ball reversal. 4 will slide to mid post opposite the ball screen action.
Details to remember
- 3 needs to stay “High and wide”. Provide a release for 1’s penetration and reduce ball pressure.
- Make a letter “T” when you set a screen. Shoulders perpendicular to free throw line
- Shoulder to hip. When using screens.
- First thought is to score. Once in kill area, look to score.
Teaching Point – the wings can get open by crossing underneath the basket or they can start in a stack set and pop out to the wing. The post players and the wings may also start at the low post area in a stack set. From this set, the wings can cross, use v cut or L cut to the wing, or use a screen by the post players to receive the pass at the wing position.
The point guard must get through to the opposite baseline quickly so he does not interfere with the ball screen by the post player. He then gets his feet ready for a pass in the corner for a shot as he may be open for a pass and shot.
2. First ball screen
After the wing 2 receives the pass, he immediately squares up to the basket to set his defender up for the ball screen. The baseline is open so if the defender cheats to the ball screen, 2 can drive baseline. If 2 uses the screen, he comes hard off the screen staying low – shoulder to hip of the screener – and takes the ball to what we call the “kill area” which is at the free throw lane area. This will put great pressure on the defender as now 2 has many options of passing or shooting. We tell 2 he is thinking score as he comes off the screen as we want the defender to stop the shooter first.
Passing options include the pick and roll with the screener 5 going to the basket, to the opposite post player 4 who may be open if his defender helps on 2 and to 3 who is high and wide for the reversal option pass.
It is important the opposite post player 4 reads his defender as many times his defender will be in help position on 2. We often times tell 4 to slide to the baseline one step off the lane line which positions himself for a great pass.
Teaching Point – the wing immediately looks for the baseline drive as there is no defensive help and this drive may be open. By doing this, the wing sets up his man for the ball screen by the post. The wing will think shot as he gets to the kill area off the screen so the defense is in a quick help position. This then opens up other options.
3. Ball reversal
We found out that most good teams – especially at the international level – will defend the first ball screen without giving us a good shot. They may defend the screen by double teaming, hard hedge, overplaying one direction or by switching. If this happens, we look for a ball reversal to the opposite wing 3 who is high and wide for the pass. We found this to be a fairly easy pass as his defender will rarely take this reverse pass away from our offense.
Once 3 receives the pass, 1 moves up to the wing area but not higher than the free throw line extended to receive the pass from 3. 3 will make his cut to the opposite corner as 1 did on the initial offense. 1 now will square up to the basket and look for the baseline drive. 4 will come up the free throw lane line from his position on the baseline so he will have a good angle to set the ball screen for 1. We like to have the screens set with the feet stradeling the three point line.
Teaching Point – if the defense double teams the wing as he dribbles off the screen, the screener will just roll to the baseline instead of to the basket and be open for a short jumper. This is an easy read for the wing player coming off the screen. If the defender on the screen “hedges” as the wing comes over the screen, the screener will slip the screen immediately and be open for a pass.
Second ball screen
1 now comes off the screen as 2 did earlier. He looks for the kill area for his shot, opposite post 5 on the baseline one step off the lane line or 2 who is high and wide for ball reversal. We usually get a good basket on this side as the defense has to shift from help side to ball side on the reverse pass.
Teaching Point – on the reverse we now have the point guard handling the ball on the wing and coming off the screen. By reversing the ball once the best ballhandler has the ball using the screen to make good decisions.
This offense is easy to teach and learn. It gives the players some structure but also allows for players to make plays. In our school program, we use this offense from ages 10 through 17 so as the players get older they have a great idea of what to look for in the offense.